• September 16, 2014

Thank you Maria and Alexandra

by Helen Stratford

After an intense year of mis­sion in our Brooklyn Heart’s Home Center, time came for both Maria B. and Alexandra F. to say farewell and go back to their home­lands. We all want to honor the gift of them­selves to us with the words of our friend Helen.

“I want to say thank you - to both Alexandra and Maria - for the love, the laughter, and the spirit of Christ that they brought into my life throughout the last year. The quality of my soli­tude and silence was always trans­formed by their visits. Their love, their ten­der­ness, the mutual inquis­i­tive­ness and recep­tivity - always endowed and revi­tal­ized my sense of pur­pose and being with their under­standing and recog­ni­tion. It was an affir­ma­tion of who I spir­i­tu­ally am. Generosity of heart, mag­na­nimity of spirit, the ability to use one’s gifts of intel­lect and sen­si­bility to offer com­pas­sion and insight - these are the very gifts exhib­ited by both Alexandra and Maria, and that we are called upon by Christ to employ as oper­a­tives - capable of offering redemp­tion and sal­va­tion (and Love) to the Other. It is the essen­tial humanism and ethos of Christianity.

For some, the sense of being weary, bedrag­gled and down­trodden is not nec­es­sarily mate­rial - it does not neces­si­tate that we have tat­tered col­lars and cuffs, worn out shoes, and need a few coins tossed in our tin cups. On the con­trary, it means our souls and spirits are crit­i­cally embat­tled and chal­lenged by a world that would refute not only God’s exis­tence - but the very exis­tence of the soul. It means that we are threat­ened by an external reality that would deny and ignore a deeper, more pro­found aspect of the human expe­ri­ence capable of per­ceiving the Sacred. For that is what we crave and long for. That is truly what sus­tains us. And that is what the hearts of Alexandra and Maria deliver!!!

As an artist, I lead a some­what reclu­sive and monastic exis­tence, a life of soli­tude in which I create and com­pose. It is a way of staying close to God, and of pro­tecting the Sacred. Yet it can be very lonely - and sequestered - and although the world, when I ven­ture out, might be grateful and appre­cia­tive of the gifts pro­cured in such iso­la­tion (the songs, the poems, etc.), they are often­times unaware of the truth of my inte­rior, of my humanity, of my expe­ri­ence - or of the sacred depths within. Few seldom visit such regions - but among them, Alexandra and Maria.

Namaste. The Divine in Me acknowl­edges and Greets the Divine in You. Thank You.”

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